Georg-Michael Vavrovsky Passed Away

He was one of the most outstanding personalities in international tunnel construction in recent decades and a true humanist. On 16 February 2020 Baurat h.c. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. mont. Georg-Michael Vavrowsky passed away at the age of 70.

From 1989 to 2012, as a member of the Board of Management of Eisenbahn-
Hochleistungsstrecken AG and ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, he had a decisive influence on this era of major new construction and expansion projects in Austria. Vavrovsky
was a member of the supervisory board and construction committee of the
Brenner Base Tunnel Com­pany from 2004 to the beginning of 2019, honorary president of the Austrian Geomechanical Society and a member of numerous national and international expert committees.

In tunnel construction and for other geotechnical problems, Georg-Michael Vavrovsky used his outstanding skills to break new ground and develop innovative solutions. He also created systems and methods to increase the accuracy of forecasts and cost stability for transport infrastructure projects. His papers have resulted in standard works such as the Handbook on Cost Calculation, which are mandatory for transport infrastructure projects in Austria. The high cost stability in the transferred project volume achieved continuously since the introduction of the 2005 framework plan confirms the success of this methodology.

He set the course for his extraordinary career right after completing his studies in civil engineering at the Technical University of Graz, when he started working for Prof. Dr. Franz Pacher at the Salzburg “Ingenieurbüro für Fels- und Tunnelbau”. For many years he accompanied Pacher, one of the co-founders of the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NÖT), in his function as tunnel expert on the construction sites of the new Hanover–Würzburg line of the German Railways, but also represented him in courses
at the Technical Universities of Munich and Vienna. As a specialist for near-surface tunnelling, he was called to many difficult situations at home and abroad during these years. After passing his civil engineering examination in 1988, Vavrovsky headed the “Ingenieurbüro für Geotechnik und Tunnelbau” (IGT) in Salzburg together with his partner at the time, Nejad Ayaydin, before he was given the overall technical management of Eisenbahn-Hochleistungsstrecken AG in Vienna in 1989.

In 2013, the STUVA awarded Vavrovsky the STUVA Prize in recognition of his services to tunnel construction. In the laudation of the jury, the prizewinner was said at the time: “Unquenchable is his interest in new things. Farsightedness, precision and analytical acuity as well as human greatness are the most striking characteristics of Georg-Michael Vavrovsky‘s impressive personality. Qualities that allowed him to develop an almost unmanageable breadth of expertise with enormous depth in each case.”

With his death, the tunnel industry loses one of its most important personalities and an impressive philanthropist. Georg-Michael Vavrovsky leaves behind his wife Barbara and three children, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.


Related articles:

Issue 2014-01 STUVA-News

Well over 1,600 participants and 150 leading exhibitors from home and abroad got together in late November 2013 at the ICS in Stuttgart for the 2013 STUVA Conference for an exchange of experience on...

Issue 2017-01 Event

The 2017 STUVA Conference, the International Forum for Tunnels and Infrastructure, will be held from December 6 to 8, 2017 at the Messe Stuttgart. The event is one of the most important gatherings for...

Issue 2017-04 Obituary

In April 2017, Dr. Rolf Bielecki died at the age of 85. German engineering has thus lost one of its most incisive and internationally regarded personalities of recent decades. Bielecki became widely...

Issue 2019-01 November 26–28, 2019 ¤ 26.–28. November 2019

Since 1963, the STUVA has held its tradition-steeped three-day STUVA Conference every two years, featuring all topics and aspects having to do with tunnelling and tunnel operation. The “International...

Issue 2016-03 Memories of an Associate

by Günter Girnau   Prof. Ernst-Ulrich Hiersche, honorary member of STUVA, died in Karlsruhe aged 84 at the end of 2015. For all of twenty years, from 1977 to 1997, he more than pulled his weight...